Albert Park Preschool
Albert Park Preschool is a community Kindergarten located in the bayside suburb of Albert Park in Melbourne, Victoria. Our kindergarten’s philosophy celebrates a commitment to the wellbeing of our world and each other as part of a promise to Bunjil, creator deity of the Boonwurrung, to care for the bubups (children) and country. Our philosophy also reflects the belief that 'we are all interconnected with nature and our youngest citizens can, and do, play a key role in shaping a happy, healthy, sustainable future for our community'.
“Being Climate Active Carbon Neutral makes our commitment to the wellbeing of our planet and our community visible, in addition to helping us model environmentally responsible practices.”
Type of certification
How long have you been certified carbon neutral?
Since 13 August 2019.
Why are you carbon neutral?
We feel it is our duty to support the children's love of nature by reducing our carbon footprint. We work in partnership with our local council to pursue a carbon neutral future for children and our broader community. Becoming carbon neutral certified represents the achievement of a five year plan for our organisation. We recognised at the beginning of our journey that we needed to 'think big' and not 'sweat the small stuff'. Being Climate Active Carbon Neutral makes our commitment to the wellbeing of our planet and our community visible, in addition to helping us model environmentally responsible practices.
What are the benefits of your carbon neutral certification?
There are many benefits being Climate Active carbon neutral certified both tangible and intangible. One of the most important benefits is making good on our promise to Bunjil to care for the children and the land by doing what we can to support a sustainable future.
We have experienced financial benefits in terms of reduced energy bills and donations from community to facilitate the installation of solar panels, solar batteries and energy efficient products. The intangible benefits of being carbon neutral certified include increased community awareness, increased staff engagement, the strengthening of sustainability education in the program, and the capacity to be visible around our goals and vision. As the first carbon neutral certified early childhood service in Australia we are very proud to commit to not being the last! We look forward to doing what we can to support all early childhood services to achieve carbon neutrality and being an active part of the Climate Active Network.
How can the community support you?
We became the first carbon neutral early childhood service in Australia with the aim of inspiring other smaller organisations to take action on climate change. In addition to directly supporting our sustainability objectives, our kindergarten families have adopted similar initiatives in their homes and workplaces. The shift in behaviour both in and outside of kinder contributes to our hope of a carbon neutral future.
What else are you doing to reduce emissions?
We have declared a war on waste and recently complemented our worm farms with the introduction of two green cones. We continue to pursue our objective of replacing aged equipment with the most environmentally efficient version available (e.g. in 2020 we will be upgrading our ceiling fans). We are very excited to pursue our new long term goal of supporting our local schools, Albert Park Primary and Albert Park College, to pursue carbon neutral certification. Together we hope to empower students of all ages to create a sustainable learning community.
What has been the impact of your action?
During 2017 we decreased water use by 64 per cent, electricity use by 24 per cent, and gas by 76 per cent. In 2018, we further decreased water use by 20 per cent, electricity use by 31 per cent and eliminated gas use completely.
What advice would you give to a business considering certification?
We want to encourage all businesses to take this journey. Carbon neutral certification has been such an important part of our ongoing learning. As part of the Climate Active Network we are surrounded by like-minded people who want to make a positive difference in the world. We truly celebrate that certification provides a visible recognition of the distance we have traveled over the past five years. It marks the achievement of a dream and acknowledges the energy and effort of the many people who came together to make that dream a reality.